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05.28.09

Links 28/05/2009: KOffice 2.0.0 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 6:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Elastix – an amazing GNU/Linux distribution to set up an Asterix-based PBX

    Elastix is a complete GNU/Linux distribution with Asterisk, DHADI, Openfire, Postfix and many other free software packages. It has a user-friendly interface that integrates the best tools available for Asterisk-based PBXs, as well as its own set of utilities which allows the creation of third party modules. The software was created by PaloSanto Solutions, an IT company from Ecuador, and released to the public for the first time in March 2006. Elastix has a good support for telephony hardware … you can see the complete list at their hardware compatibility list.

  • 9 reasons to switch from Windows to Linux

    As you can see there are many reasons to switch from Windows to Linux, some good, some bad. What you need to realize is that a lot of things are better in Linux than Windows, but that better also means different. You should not expect Linux to be an exact copy of Windows. If you recognize yourself in some of the good reasons above I suggest that you continue reading this blog! Next week I will explain what is a Linux distribution, something you will want to know in order to get the right Linux for you. The week after I will present some of the disadvantages of Linux.

  • ZaReason Preparing Ubuntu Server, Netbook

    ZaReason is preparing to expand its portfolio of Ubuntu systems — including a new server and netbook, according to CEO Cathy Malmrose. But that’s not all. US-based ZaReason also continues its push deeper into the European computer market.

  • Where does Linux fit in the business desktop?

    As a matter of fact, Linux terminal servers are well known for their uptime and accessibility. Also, Linux is also well known for working out ways to work with and communicate with other systems. so you can have an AS400 client on a Linux desktop as easily as you can on a Windows desktop.

  • FOSS Gems Sparkle in the Summer Sun

    If smooth-as-silk memory sharing and file caching bring joy to your heart, you know you’re a Linux geek. And if you’re a Linux geek, there’s apparently no time like the summertime to indulge in the sheer pleasure of playing with cool stuff in the Linux universe. Some generous bloggers have tagged some of the shiniest treasures for us. What other gems are out there, friends? We’d love to know.

  • GNU/Linux Eclipses Windows – for Eclipse Users

    For me, the highlight is the following:

    Developers appear to be shifting away from Microsoft Windows to Linux and Mac OSX for their development operating system. 26.9% of respondents cite Linux was as primary desktop operating system, representing a 7 percentage point increase from 2007. Though Windows is still the dominant development OS at 64%, it has decreased 10 percentage points from 2007. The most popular Linux variant of choice among developers is Ubuntu, which accounts for over half of Linux respondents. Mac OSX has increase to 6.9% from 3.5% in 2007.

  • Linux Revamped for Netbooks

    Q. My netbook came with SUSE Linux, but I want to use Ubuntu Linux. What’s the easiest way to change?

    A. Swapping in Ubuntu Linux is not that difficult, and there is even a version called Ubuntu Netbook Remix that is optimized just for smaller hardware like a mini-notebook PC.

    According to Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, the netbook-remix version of the system includes a better user interface, faster start-up times, and improved power management for the smaller computers. Like the standard edition of Ubuntu, the netbook remix includes the Mozilla Firefox browser and open-source software for e-mail, instant messaging, digital photos and audio, and word processing.

  • Radical Idea: Charge Vendors for Software Deployed in Schools

    Imagine what would happen if a generation of school kids was raised, from an early age, to be Linux, OpenOffice.org and Gimp users?

  • Who wants Linux with sex appeal? Not this guy.

    Tech Republic’s Gary Marshall, however, thinks Moblin has to be stopped – now. Why? Because he’s afraid developers (and the inevitable Moblin remixes) are going to ruin a good thing. “…naturally, somebody’s going to bugger it up. Of course they will. It’s Linux!” Later he states “Again and again, we’ve seen early promise ruined because people don’t know when to stop.”

  • Virtual Nation

    Along comes Sun’s VirtualBox (http://www.virtualbox.org/)… totally cross-platform (there are versions for Windows, OSX, Linux, and Solaris, and even has an SDK). Totally free. Easy to set up and use. And extremely powerful.

  • Linux The New Choice for the Hospitality POS

    But a translation of the original Unix ideal is Linux, and it has rapidly become the leader in business use. In a never-ending battle to ease costs, a system that is freely available to the public to use, redistribute, change, translate, and adapt is the ultimate in economical and secure computing.

    Linux is a free Unix-like operating system originally created by Linus Torvalds. Developed under the GNU General Public License, the source code for Linux is freely available to everyone who knows what to do with it. According to IBM, Linux is currently the fastest-growing operating system. The beauty of Linux is that, because it is freely modifiable, it can be adapted to any computing purpose. Chances are good, your cell phone has Linux embedded. Linux is now the system of choice to run gaming consoles such as the Sony PlayStation. Yet Linux is just as at-home running a mainframe supercomputer at NASA.

  • Audio

    • Linux Outlaws 94 – Beer on the Stream

      In this week’s, massively oversized episode: We interview the Linux Foundation’s Community Manager Brian Proffitt and talk about the Cisco/FSF settlement, the RIAA dissing the FSF, Microsoft and the Linux Foundation actually agreeing on something and much more.

    • Podcast Season 1 Episode 9

      In this episode: Our favourite TuxRadar comments so far, how can we help convert people from Windows and a special feature on netbooks.

  • Events

    • Grid solutions track at Linux Days, 5 June, Geneva, Switzerland

      Can grid technology give your company a competitive advantage? The Grid Solutions Track organized by the EGEE Business Forum, 5 June 2009, during LinuxDays 2009 is designed to illustrate how IT strategists from both the private and public sectors can benefit by adopting grid computing.

      “EGEE is now in a position to take a variety of solutions to the market through several commercial companies offering gLite based solutions,” says Steven Newhouse, Technical Director of EGEE. “This ‘Grid Solutions’ track is a prime opportunity to showcase what EGEE and gLite has to offer.”

    • SouthEast LinuxFest: Be There

      Only 16 days remain until June 13th, the date SouthEast LinuxFest makes its debut in Clemson, South Carolina. The one-day conference features an impressive list of speakers that will be sure to fill the Hendrix Student Center at Clemson University. The
      entrance is free but, if you want to support the project, you can do that by opting for a $50 admission fee, for which price you also receive a T-Shirt or drink tickets. For the event, the Comfort Inn Hotel was contracted and offers discounts if you make reservations until May 30th.

    • Forget Congress, It’s Time for a Kongress

      Since 1994, the Linux Kongress has been held annually in Germany, with the occasional detour to other lovely European locales. In 2008, Linux Kongress-goers visited the ancient and beautiful city of Hamburg, and apparently liked it so much they didn’t want to go home — conference organizers have again chosen Hamburg as the site of the Linux Kongress, to be held September 22 – 25, 2009. Speaking of organizers, the conference is again being orchestrated by the German Unix User Group. OSDevCon, the OpenSolaris Developer Conference, will also be held in Hamburg, concurrent with the Kongress.

  • Server

    • A ‘not-so-cheap fight’ over open source!

      “We could have failed against proprietary counterparts if we had used a box approach with enterprise Linux,” feels Satish Mohan, head, global engineering centre, Red Hat India. But using the ‘value proposition’ approach with ‘service beyond vanilla product’ and access to ecosystem has worked in favor for Enterprise Linux, he tells.

      In the OS version of enterprise solutions, there are no hassles like upgrade investments or heavy exit costs etc. That’s why there is a good push from all sectors like BFSI, manufacturing or government towards early adoption of Enterprise Linux, Mohan shares.

    • Penguin Computing Forms OEM Agreement with Applied Biosystems for Scyld ClusterWare

      Penguin Computing, the leading provider of HPC cluster solutions today announced it has formed an OEM agreement with Applied Biosystems, a division of Life Technologies Corporation. Applied Biosystems, a leading provider of genomic analysis sequencing systems, will bundle the cluster management solution Scyld ClusterWare with the SOLiD™ System, recently named the #1 Life Science Innovation of 2008 by the Life Science industry publication The Scientist.

    • New Panasas Systems’ Support of IBM Power Linux Servers Drives Performance Breakthroughs for Data-Intensive Technical Enterprises

      Panasas, Inc., the leading provider of storage for the world’s most performance-intensive applications, today announced that the company has partnered with IBM to develop integrated support and optimized application performance when new Panasas ActiveStor storage systems are configured with IBM Power Systems running Linux. The combination provides outstanding performance levels and is an ideal solution for data-intensive applications in many industries including aerospace, energy, finance, government, life sciences, consumer products, and manufacturing.

    • IBM Tackles SMBs with Smart Cubes, Smart Market, and a Bit of i

      IBM has officially launched its Smart Market effort in the United States. In addition to the pilot in India, U.S. small business customers can now buy the appliance-like IBM Smart Cubes that run IBM i or Linux–but the operating system is the last thing IBM is promoting with its new Smart Market efforts.

    • HP upgrades mobile and desktop thin clients

      Separately on Wednesday, HP rolled out improvements to its desktop-based Windows and Linux thin clients that will improve security of the devices, and simplify setup and integration with VMware View and Citrix XenDesktop virtualization platforms.
      While HP is integrating with third-party virtualization tools, Tad Bodeman, HP’s thin client marketing director, denies a rumor that HP is exiting the virtual desktop infrastructure market altogether.

  • Kernel Space

    • Walsh: Introducing the SELinux Sandbox

      Dan Walsh and Eric Paris have been working on an SELinux “sandbox” which Walsh describes on his weblog. The basic idea is to use SELinux to restrict the kinds of actions a user application can perform. This would allow users to run untrusted programs or handle untrusted input in a more secure manner.

    • Linux 2.6.30 Kernel Benchmarks

      With the Linux 2.6.30 kernel being prepped for release in early June, we have set out to provide a few benchmarks of this latest Linux kernel to see how it compares to its two earlier predecessors. While this new kernel may offer support for new file-systems (NILFS2, in particular), support for LZMA/BZIP2 kernel image compression, a new CPU architecture (Microblaze) and many other changes, are there any major performance regressions or improvements like we have spotted with our previous Linux kernel benchmarks?

      [...]

      While this round of kernel testing was brief with just three kernels and eleven tests, it does seem that particularly when it comes to disk operations there are improvements with the Linux 2.6.30 kernel, which should not come as a surprise. There were also a few performance regressions, however. Beyond that the tests show few other changes with this kernel upgrade. If you would like to run your own Linux kernel benchmarks, try out the Phoronix Test Suite, which is our open-source software that will allow you to run and automate almost any test on Linux, OpenSolaris, *BSD, and Mac OS X operating systems.

  • Applications

    • 8 Great Linux Apps Worth Bragging About, part 2

      gLabels Label, Business Card, and Postcard Creator

      [...]

      Hugin, Photo Panorama Creator

      [...]

      Blender, Cross-Platform 3D Creator

    • 10 Top applications to add to your LinuxMint7 gloria
    • Pimp up your Terminal with Guake and Yakuake

      If you’re wondering whether Guake and Yakuake are Polynesian happy mushrooms, you’re a bit off mark. These are Linux command line terminals, modified to behave like the console in the popular First Person Shooter (FPS) Quake. Hence, the funny names.

    • Hands on: Google Chromium browser alpha for Linux

      The open source Chromium project, which serves as the basis for Google’s Chrome web browser, has reached alpha status on the Linux platform. Ars takes a look at the Linux port’s progress and functionality.

    • Another superb collection of Linux games

      This game does not use the Quake engine. It runs on Blender Game Engine and is available for all major operating systems. Blender is a powerful, popular 3D modeling and rendering graphics software, which was used to create the stunning landscapes and lifelike behavior of the characters in the game.

    • Elisa Media Center Gets a New Look and a New Name — Moovida

      Elisa Media Center has been one of those projects that I really want to like and has almost been there for a long time. It did a lot of cool stuff and did it simply, without the need to rip out or supplement core technologies in your existing Gnome desktop. I kept trying it, but it always lacked something that I really wanted, so I would give it up after a few hours. It continued to move forward quickly, though.

  • KOffice

    • KOffice 2.0.0 Released

      The KOffice team is extremely pleased to finally announce version 2.0.0 of KOffice. This release marks the end of more than 3 years of work to port KOffice to Qt 4 and the KDE 4 libraries and, in some cases, totally rewrite the engine of the KOffice applications.

    • KOffice on version 2.0, extensions, and being like Firefox

      The idea of an application that supports third-party extensions and add-ons users can download and install in one click may be more applicable to Web browsers than office suites, but the developers at the open source KOffice project have developed such an architecture where all components are modular. TechWorld interviews the marketing coordinator for KOffice, Inge Wallin, to find out where this lesser-known of the open source office suites is headed now version 2.0.0 has arrived and what excites its developers. Building an easy, intuitive, cross-platform, and extensible platform like Firefox is high on the agenda.

  • Distributions

    • Slackware Changes Package Compression Format

      I run slackware-current on my main workstation and I should keep up to date more often than I do. Anyway, on May 8th Patrick switched over to the new compression format of xz, based on an LZMA compression algorithm. This significantly reduces the size of compressed packages. Great stuff. Anyway, I noticed this because when I ran slackpkg upgrade-all it continuously failed. I was a bit perplexed but it’s an easy fix if you are a bit late.

    • Red Hat

      • CentOS 5.3 Live CD Released

        The CentOS Development Team announced today the immediate availability of their CentOS 5.3 Live CD Linux distribution. This version is based on the previously released CentOS 5.3 for i386 processor architectures. In order to make the ISO fit on a single 700 MB CD, the Emacs, K3B and Scribus applications had to be removed. Still, these can easily be installed through the “yum install” command, even while running the Live environment.

      • Review – Fedora 11 Preview

        RedHat, one of the biggest contributor to open source and Linux, proved the world that the Open Source service based model is profitable. RedHat introduces all the exiting new technologies in Fedora, the community driven distribution sponsored by RedHat. These technologies will be integrated into the official RetHat distribution after they are mature enough. The technologies like udev, upstart, SELinux, pulseaudio, Plymouth, Xen and KVM are first introduced (if I remember correctly) in Fedora and then later integrated into various other distributions. I’ve not used Fedora as my main desktop, but I always try every release of Fedora to get a feel of the new technologies.

    • Mint

      • Linux Mint 7 released

        Clement Lefebvre from the Mint development team has announced the release of Linux Mint 7 (code named Gloria). Linux Mint is an Ubuntu-based distribution that aims to be user friendly and provide a more complete out-of-the-box experience by including support for DVD playback, Java, plug-ins and media codecs. The release is based on Ubuntu 9.04 (aka Jaunty Jackalope), the 2.6.28 Linux Kernel, X.org 7.4 and GNOME 2.26.

      • Linux Mint 7 “Gloria” – It Just Keeps Getting Better

        There are other Mint utilities, such as mintBackup and mintNanny, but the bottom line is, if you are looking for a solid Linux distribution, you can’t do better than Ubuntu, and if you want it to be better packaged and easier to use, then Linux Mint is definitely worth a look.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • In Search of Linux

      I’m in search of Linux–which sounds odd since it seems that I should be able to find all the Linux I’d ever want but I want to know about your favorite Linux gadget, project, invention, software, innovation or appliance. I want to know which ones are most important to you–which ones you’re passionate about and which ones deserve some attention in this blog. Here’s your chance to bring a little-known Linux-oriented business or project into the light.

    • Reviewed: Yoggie Open Firewall SOHO

      Here’s a device that started out as a firewall and ended up as a powerful embedded development platform. It’s based around an ARM CPU and includes an SDK to let you develop your own tools.

    • Astaro Security Gateway boasts rich features

      How important are flexibility and a rich feature set to you? If these elements are your top considerations, then the Astaro Security Gateway should be high on your short list. With roots in the Linux world, the Astaro is a serious firewall with serious capabilities for a distributed enterprise UTM box.

    • NAS system houses 2.5-inch drives for up to 6TB

      Qnap Systems announced a 2.5-inch drive variation on its Linux- and Intel Atom-based network-attached storage (NAS) devices, called the SS-439 Pro Turbo NAS. In other NAS news, Asus is readying an Eee-branded NAS device, similarly running Linux on an Atom, says an industry report.

    • Linux-ready networking SoCs scale to 40 cores

      Netronome announced new multi-core “network flow processors” that are backward-compatible with Intel’s IXP28xx, but claimed to offer over twice the MIPS. The Linux-compatible NFP-32xx system-on-chips scale from 16 to 40 cores, offer 20Gbps throughput, and provide a programmable dataplane, virtualization, and security processing, says the company.

    • Phones

      • AT&T, not ready for 3G, lobbies for 3G Palm Pre

        His comments on the Pre are believed to be the first indicating other carriers are eyeballing Palm’s last-chance smartphone. Palm is set to launch the Pre on June 6 under an exclusive US supply deal. O2 has inked itself as the UK’s sole distributor, with plans to punt the handset sometime before Christmas.

      • HTC Magic Android phone free from 3

        The Android-based HTC Magic will be available for free (as in $0 upfront) on a $99 cap plan from 3.

      • HTC releases Magic Android to local market

        Minor differences between the two are eclipsed by the broader functionality shared by the Linux-based Android 1.5 “Cupcake” operating system which brings iPhone-like functionality, including Google Maps and Latitude, e-mail, IM, YouTube and the Android Market for thousands of third-party applications.

      • How much work can you do on a BlackBerry?

        And while the wise foresee ARM-based netbooks running some flavor of Linux as the long-term solution for business users’ portable computing fix, the (arguably) foolish among us hunger for even smaller devices. After all, today’s smartphones look more and more like computers, with keyboards, browsers, storage, pointing devices, and even applications.

      • Android leaps to rugged handheld, and more phones

        SDG Systems is shipping a version of its ruggedized Trimble Nomad PDA that runs Android 1.5. In other Android news, photos of an Android-based, AT&T-destined HTC “Lancaster” smartphone have appeared on the web, and another report says that China Mobile will soon sell HTC’s Magic phone.

      • RIM and Google: The Perfect Storm?

        In my previous piece about Palm and the potential for webOS to be used for derivative tablet-sized devices, I talked a bit about Google’s problem with having to brand Android and finding a major device manufacturer with brand and sex appeal to attract customers in order to make a major commercial success of the platform.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Netbook Wars: Linux, Android, Windows 7

        Assuming Google can buckle down and give Android the same kind of air time in the mainstream media that Microsoft will give Windows 7, it could be an interesting competition. A competition with plenty of hills and valleys as each platform shows off its best.

      • Why Windows Netbooks are good for Open Source

        Building on that insight, one thing that might be useful would be to create a site specifically for those running Windows XP on netbooks, with a range of open source software that’s particularly suitable – because it’s free, requires little resources and is fast.

      • Linpus

        • Linpus gears up Moblin v2 for Linux netbooks

          When netbooks first came out from Acer and Asus, they came with a Linux operating system from a (then unknown) small Linux vendor called Linpus. Linux on netbooks is now more common and there are other Linux distribution choices (and Windows too), but Linpus remains and is now gearing up for a new release based on the Moblin v2 standard for Intel Atom processors.

        • Linpus Sets Date With Moblin 2.0 for Netbooks

          Taiwanese Linux distributor Linpus Technologies plans to make a version of Moblin 2.0 available for download next week, a move timed to coincide with the annual Computex hardware exhibition in Taipei.

          Linpus will show off a new version of its Linpus Linux Lite distribution based on Moblin 2.0 for the first time, including versions based on user interfaces designed by Linpus and Intel, the company said in a notice posted on its Web site.

      • OLPC

        • OLPC kickstarts notebook program for indigenous children

          Branching out to Australia two years ago, the organisation was established in the US to provide disadvantaged primary school children access to educational resources. So far, OLPC has trialed the notebook scheme across Oceanic nations including Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

        • Rwanda: Country to Host OLPC Learning Centre for Africa

          Rwanda is set to become home to the pilot learning centre for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project in Africa due to its outstanding progress in promoting the child user friendly computer on the continent.

          The centre to be located at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) to be known as the OLPC Learning Centre will be launched on June 9 and it is aimed at supporting Rwanda achieve its objectives of promoting ICT in Education but also act as a reach out centre for the whole of Africa.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google toys with plug-in free YouTube

    Google has mocked up a version of YouTube built around the HTML5 video tag, playing mini-movies inside a browser sans plug-ins.

  • 10 Top extensions to add more fonctionality to your Openoffice

    OpenOffice.org 3 is the leading open-source open software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers.

  • TED Open Source: How we went live with our electricity use.

    As promised, below you will find our recipe for the TED, The Energy Detective hack that enabled us to publish our electricity use on the Energy Circle site, starting Earth Day. Thanks to Peter Murray for putting this together. If you take this on, good luck! Please report back to let us know how it goes.

  • Open Source Soft-Switch Now Supports Secure VoIP With ZRTP

    The FreeSWITCH team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 1.0.4pre8. This latest release is the most stable and secure version of FreeSWITCH to date. All are encouraged to update as soon as possible. The latest files are available at files.freeswitch.org.

  • Releasing Your Code as Open-Source: What Do You Change?

    I’ve heard it a dozen times: “We’re going to release this app as open source, as soon as we clean it up.” It’s always made me wonder what, exactly, needs to be cleaned up, and what it looked like beforehand. The implication is that the “Before” picture is something of a mess.

  • Source code as a safeguard

    I shall finish off with a quote by a representative of the natural sciences, a mathematician to be more exact, who has taken the consequence of scientific accountability and, as the project leader of the free software application TeXmacs, has presented the following conclusions:

  • Drupal 7: next steps for usability

    Improving the usability of Drupal is very important. Yesterday, I wrote about the progress that was made on Drupal 7 usability — the community has made a ton of incremental improvements, while Mark and Leisa have been preparing mockups and wireframes that provide significant over-arching improvements to Drupal’s ease of use. Combined, I believe these efforts could make Drupal 7 a great release. A release that the Drupal project needs since our competitors are catching up in terms of functionality and flexibility. Likewise we need to catch up in terms of design and usability. It is my belief that we can develop a user experience for our project that is game changing, and that completely resets people’s expectations both for Drupal and our competitors.

  • Business

  • Programming

    • Sunspot: A Solr-Powered Search Engine for Ruby

      As your site amasses content — be it stories, SKUs, or statistics — a tailored, effective, and exacting search engine becomes increasingly vital. Imagine a bookstore that doesn’t index its tomes by title or author, or a clothing retailer that doesn’t index garments by size. Without search, each site is useless. In general, the quality and relevance of search results makes or breaks a site.

    • Google: The internet is ‘the right programming model’

      Just five years ago, Vic Gundotra argued that web apps could never rival their desktop brethren. But that’s when he worked for Microsoft. He works for Google now. And he sees things quite differently.

      In 2004, Gundotra and his Microsoft team – responsible for driving developers to Windows – pointed to an application called Keyhole as a prime example of the sort of desktop goodness that could never be duplicated on the web. Then Google bought Keyhole, a Windows app that stitched satellite photos into a pan-and-zoom-able virtual landscape, and within months, it turned the app into a web service.

Leftovers

  • DRM

    • SpiralFrog dogged by DRM issues, unhappy investors

      Switching to the question of SpiralFrog’s DRM; some of the site’s users are bitter about losing their music. When SpiralFrog went dark, CEO Joe Mohen said that SpiralFrog’s music would be available for an additional 60 days. What Mohen meant was that if users visited the site on the last day the service operated and updated the DRM on their songs, they would have access for two months from that day.

    • Landmark study: DRM truly does make pirates out of us all

      A UK researcher has spent years interviewing people about whether DRM has affected their ability to use content in ways ordinarily protected by the law. Surprise! It has, even leading one sight-impaired woman to piracy.

      It’s a well-known story by now: Europe, the US, and plenty of other countries have made it generally illegal to circumvent DRM, even when users want to do something legal with the content. Sure, it sounds bad and Ars complains about it all the time, but come on—do anticircumvention laws really prevent real people in the real world from doing real things with their content? Or are the complaints largely dreamed up by copyleft activists who would like nothing more than to see the term “intellectual property” disappear into the tentacled maw of Cthulhu?

  • Copyrights

    • BSA’s Canadian Piracy Numbers Based On Hunches, Not Actual Surveys

      The Conference Board of Canada that was basically a cut and paste from various industry groups, Geist noticed that the report relied on some BSA data. So he asked for more info on how the BSA determined the “piracy” rate of software in Canada. How many people were surveyed? What was the methodology?

    • Thomas Lord, on Why We Need Free Network Services, and not just Copyleft

      Copyleft is not, in and of itself, a solution to the problem of inappropriately centralized services. It is not enough even if users are able to obtain a copy of the programs a server runs, if users generally can’t count on controlling the servers.

    • Videos Removed for Copyright Complaint
    • Will The RIAA Shut Down Public School Kids From Singing Pop Songs On YouTube?

      Dave Title points our attention to a public elementary school in New York City (PS22) that is making news for putting together a chorus that sings various pop songs (and sings them well!).

      [...]

      But, of course, Title wonders how the RIAA feels about all of this:

      However, this seems like a video ripe for takedown by the RIAA. These kids did not get the rights to perform this song and they are now spreading their cover for free! This is just the sort of activity the record industry seems to keen on stopping – whether it is a chorus of school-kids or a couple of people doing a karaoke version of the latest Beyonce tune.

    • Harvard Prof Calls RIAA Lawsuits “Unconstitutional Abuse of Law”

      Charles Nesson writes an op-ed piece explaining why RIAA lawsuits targeting file-sharers is an abuse of the legal process, and that the real problem is the tension between “our antiquated copyright laws and the social reality of ‘digital natives,’” those that have grown up immersed in a digital world.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Kendall Dawson, Linspire Community Liaison 06 (2005)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

Unrest in OpenSUSE Forums

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE at 7:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: OpenSUSE departures noted, Novell defends its OpenSUSE trademark

SIGNS suggest that the OpenSUSE project has slowed down. With the departure of one key person (voluntarily) leaves yet another.

Today, Wolfgang Koller, the founder of former suselinuxsupport.de and one of the three Site Admins of the openSUSE forums, announced his immediate resignation from the OSF staff. I myself feel this as a loss, that is both unexpected and severe. From my perspective, he deserves our respect and appreciation for everything he has done for the openSUSE community and thus this post is dedicated to his person and contribution.

Also in answer to his decision, I myself announced my own immediate resignation from the OSF staff as well.

The author of this post receives many comments.

Some people say that SUSE has not been the same ever since Novell acquired it. Novell thinks differently. Novell even defends its exclusive ownership of “OpenSUSE”, the trademark. Looking at its PR department, they use an article published by Novell staff (Zonker) to justify what they choose to do.

Zonker’s argument is founded on the Four Freedoms outlined by the Free Software Foundation which have nothing to do with the ability to commercially profit from open source software.

Microsoft’s pledge to OpenSUSE developers calls them “hobbyists” and says almost explicitly that they are only permitted to work with SUSE as a hobby but not to make money using SUSE. What kind of GNU/Linux supporter would tolerate that? How could Novell, which accepted and knowingly signed such an agreement?

Why GNU/Linux Still Beats Ballnux (Video)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, Patents, SLES/SLED, Videos at 6:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: New review of SLED 10

HERE is another reason to avoid Novell’s SLED and instead choose an unencumbered GNU/Linux distribution which does not pay for mythical Microsoft patents. The following video was uploaded to YouTube just 2 days ago:

Ogg Theora

Direct link

GNU/Linux Gains Ground in Sub-notebooks Race as Vista 7 Gains Excessive Weight

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 4:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 7 as a pig

Summary: The recently-added weight of Vista 7 proves problematic to Microsoft, and profit margins likewise

VISTA 7, the successor and sibling of Windows Vista, is claimed to have become fat as RTM date is approached. The latest source of these claims is one who is close to Microsoft, so there is no negative bias. A colleague of his, whose disdain for GNU/Linux is well proven, thinks that this sudden ‘fattening’ of Vista 7 is going to boost GNU/Linux on sub-notebooks, potentially costing Microsoft a lot more in terms of lost money.

The jury is in about the performance of Windows 7 RC on netbook computers – it’s as slow as a wet week. For Microsoft the “great white hope” is now Moore’s Law. Will new entry level netbooks be powerful enough to prevent Redmond’s second white elephant in a row?

What is becoming increasingly clear is that Windows 7 is merely an attempt at damage control after Microsoft’s monumental misreading of the market with resources hungry Vista.

[...]

The danger for Microsoft is that the challenges are coming thick and fast from all sides on the Linux front. Aside from Android and Ubuntu Remix, Intel has released its own Linux distro desgned specifically for Atom powered netbooks, Moblin 2.0.

As we showed yesterday, Intel arguably colludes with Microsoft and/or OEMs to elevate profits (price-fixing) and Microsoft’s role is clear to see. One of our Spanish informants and readers wrote this morning:

Netbooks have become the main territory of Desktop GNU/Linux penetration, along with the educational environment, therefore Microsoft seems to be concentrating their anti-competitive strategy on these two areas.
OEM manufacturers are kept hostages of the conditions to licence Windows, and vaporware Vista-7 is being used as threat/weapon.
I think the main reason there is no actual variety in the netbook market offers is that it is Microsoft who sets the features of these machines, and not the users’ demands or the manufacturers.
Might be that Dell is not completely caving-in to Microsoft demands and it will get higher licence prices than its competition?

Our reader adds this as a reference, as well as this in Spanish (Google Translation into English). It smells like those fake Windows endorsements that Microsoft pays for to increase mind share.

How much does Microsoft pay ASUS for these advertisements (disguised as Windows endorsements)? It is abundantly clear that there is something rotten at ASUS [1, 2], but then again, some reporters take it out of perspective because ASUS is planning Linux phones, so it is not an abandonment. They just got “closely tied up with Microsoft” (by their own admission) and they apparently received kickbacks [1, 2]. It helps the creation of illusions.

“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Microsoft Has NASA Block GNU/Linux Users

Posted in Formats, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenDocument at 3:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

NASA Windows

Summary: Microsoft touches NASA and turns public data into privilege of proprietary software users only

AS pointed out two months ago, Microsoft had hooked up with NASA to make some pseudo-open source project that denies access by open source platforms. How ironic is that? Microsoft did something similar with the Library of Congress [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11], denying public access to information owned by this very same public, unless they buy from Microsoft. And guess what? Microsoft paid (as usual) the Library of Congress millions of dollars to achieve this. It is truly appalling, but to expect the same from NASA given its track record (see [1-15] at the bottom) is not easy. NASA continues to shut GNU/Linux users out because of Microsoft. It’s not the first such example (World Wind comes to mind).

WorldWide Telescope was initially available only as a Windows program, but the company has since released a preview of a WorldWide Telescope Web client for Intel-based Macs, using Microsoft’s Silverlight technology.

As expected all along, Microsoft is now using MSODF [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] to do the same thing with document formats, pretending that it supports standards while at the same time violating them. Here is an essay from yesterday that touches on the subject.

Microsoft office is being dragged, kicking and screaming, into an open office space of file formats. Of course they are not doing it without a fight and trying to impose their own standards. Yet while they have the majority of market share they have a minority of choice. The increase in choice brought about by open source software is steadily eating away at the Microsoft cream pie.

As Microsoft’s Jim Allchin once put it, “We should dedicate a cross-group team to come up with ways to leverage Windows technically more.” Microsoft is never, ever interested in making things work properly across platform. It’s all about elevating Windows, eventually; If not by technical merits, then by imposed incompatibilities that lead to user frustration.
________
[1] NASA Makes Space for Open Source Software

To aid in software development, NASA created CoLab, a blend of virtual and physical coworking environments. Since community members are spread out all over the globe, a lot of collaboration activity takes place on a private island in Second Life, a virtual world built around an open source framework. NASA even has its own OSI-approved software license, the NASA Open Source Agreement, to apply to software created for the agency.

NASA’s Ames Research Center recently developed a bug tracker written with open source Bugzilla tools. The Problem Reporting Analysis and Corrective Action (PRACA) system provides a single trouble ticket database that’s available to everyone involved in the Shuttle program, clearly a better solution than the 40 different databases it has amassed over the last 30 years.

[2] NASA’s MMO Video Game To Have A Linux Port?

This game is still a ways from being released, but at the heart of this game is the Unreal Engine 3 — the same engine that powers Unreal Tournament 3, America’s Army 3, and dozens of other titles. Unreal Engine 3 is a multi-platform engine that has an OpenGL renderer and is compatible with Mac OS X and Linux even though we haven’t seen any titles be released yet for Linux.

[3] Bugzilla 3.2 has shiny NASA interface enhancements

Mozilla has announced the official release of Bugzilla 3.2, a significant new
version that adds a large number of major improvements.

[4] NASA turns to open-source problem-tracking databases

The software, called the Problem Reporting Analysis and Corrective Action (PRACA) system, was created by the Human-Computer Interaction Group at NASA’s Ames Research Center, and is designed to give a wide cross-section of people in the Space Shuttle ecosystem access to a single database package for tracking problems with the Shuttle and its associated infrastructure.

[5] Bugzilla used to build shuttle bug-tracking package

The primary Open Source package used was Bugzilla, from the Mozilla Foundation. According to Vera, not only is the new system much less expensive and more streamlined than the software it replaces, it is also much easier to maintain. Rather than having to submit desired changes to the developers of proprietary problem tracking systems and wait for the revisions to be returned, NASA developers can make changes to PRACA on their own, often on the fly.

[6] NASA ramps up weather research with [Linux-based] supercomputer cluster

NASA’s Center for Computational Sciences is nearly tripling the performance of a supercomputer it uses to simulate Earth’s climate and weather, and our planet’s relationship with the Sun.

[7] Computer viruses in space!!

Maybe they should run Mac or Linux.  Then they would have nothing to worry about at all, right?

[8] Malware infects space station laptops

Malware has managed to get off the planet and onto the International Space Station (ISS), NASA confirmed today. And it’s not the first time that a worm or virus has stowed away on a trip into orbit.

[9] NASA launches online historical image gallery

Internet Archive, founded in 1996 to create an Internet-based library, will manage and host NASA’s new interactive image gallery on the cluster of 2,000 Linux servers at its San Francisco headquarters, said John Hornstein, director of the NASA images project for the group. The non-profit currently runs 2 petabytes of storage, Hornstein said.

[10] Goddard’s open source site

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., has established a Web site for open-source projects that were developed by center personnel for mission needs. By releasing such code into open source, NASA hopes to speed development of the software, as well as raise awareness of NASA research.

[11] NASA Uses Ubuntu

He and I walked back over behind the guy to look. I pointed out the little bit of the heron you could see at the bottom of the screen, and he said “yep, it’s Hardy.” Then he added, “look what else he’s running.” “What?” “Compiz. You can see the shadows on the panels.”

[12] Fedora on the Final Frontier

There has been a long standing rumor regarding NASA running Fedora which all of us in the Fedora community have been always intrigued by. Is it true? What are they doing with it there? Why don’t they run RHEL. Fortunately enough, a couple of weeks ago, I got to experience NASA behind the scenes, first hand, and hang out with the coolest members of the Fedora community, and find out the answer to these questions and lots more.    

[13] NASA tests Linux for spacecraft control

On the software side, embedded Linux vendor Wind River says it was selected to “support the development of NASA’s New Millennium Program Space Technology 8 (ST8) Dependable Multiprocessor.” As part of its role in supporting the project, the company will supply its Platform for Network Equipment, Linux Edition (PNE-LE) for use on the DM system.    

[14] At NASA, Windows Vista Isn’t Ready For Launch

Space agency among the growing list of federal agencies that have put a temporary hold on Windows Vista rollouts.

[15] NASA tests Linux-based planetary surface exploration robots

A Linux-based NASA lunar rover is on maneuvers — and Internet webcams — this week in the Arizona desert near Meteor Crater.

[...]

The K-10 runs Red Hat Linux, which NASA says was chosen for its large user base and application compatibility. Additionally, NASA notes that, “Linux’s flexibility and scalability enable us to easily add, remove, and extend devices with minimal difficulty.”

Week of Microsoft Government Affairs: a Look Back, a Look Ahead

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Europe, Fraud, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 2:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy

Summary: Microsoft’s situation in the the Spanish, Swiss and New Zealand governments

THE GATES family embarked on a visit to Spain this week. This visit was characteristically described as “for charity” (never mind the actual meaning [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]), but it soon emerged that it was a business trip. We wrote about it throughout the week in:

  1. Reader’s Report from Spain: “Bill Gates Meets Tomorrow with Spain’s Prime Minister in Order to Ensure Spanish School Students Get ‘Addicted’”
  2. Microsoft’s Latest Netbooks Collusion and Attack on Spanish and Australian Education
  3. Bill Gates Uses Malaria to Attack GNU/Linux

It has not escaped the attention of Linux Magazine that Bill Gates had used his time in Spain to lobby for Windows-powered sub-notebooks for young people (at the expense of taxpayers under a financial crisis).

On his visit to Spain, Bill Gates met the Spanish prime minister and didn’t fail to lobby for Microsoft computers in schools. But lacking knowledge of Spanish regions led to some confusion and did not quite bring the attention he might have wanted.

Although he was officially in Madrid to reach some cooperation agreements between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Spanish government, everybody was expecting Bill Gates, who met up yesterday morning with the Spanish prime minister, Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, to also lobby for Windows on the laptops that are expected to be given out to Spanish students in September (for the full story see here and here). And lobby he did, although things didn’t go quite as expected…

It would be valuable to keep an eye on what Microsoft is up to in Spain.

Microsoft is meanwhile ridiculing GNU/Linux on sub-notebooks, calling its users “geeks”. More myths, more stereotypes, more FUD. We spot it all the time.

In previous writings about Microsoft’s affairs with the Swiss government leading to a lawsuit [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], we showed that some headlines wrongly attributed this issue to Red Hat. In a couple of newer articles, the opposition is correctly attributed to “open source business” or just “open source”. There are no less than eighteen companies involved, so isolating the issue and focusing on Red Hat alone is like using IBM to wrongly characterise ODF as a one-company standard and thus daemonise it.

Contracts can in principle be awarded directly without a tendering process, but only where there are specific reasons, for example, technical reasons, for which no suitable alternative exists. The companies behind the lawsuit argue that suitable alternatives clearly do exist in this case.

The other day we wrote about Microsoft losing its contract — so to speak — in the nation of New Zealand. FOSS heavyweight Don Christie, however, does not believe that the implications are positive. He has explained this to IDG News Service:

That effort has now failed and even Open Source Society president Don Christie is prepared to concede that Microsoft has won a victory — though he believes it will be a short-term one.

Christie says Microsoft found the all-of-government approach constricting. In the short term, he says, it’s “absolutely a win” for Microsoft as the company will now be free to “milk its clients for licence fees, like a sunset industry”.

It is commendable that Christie keeps vigilant. Microsoft will just not step down and step away.

“People get the government their behavior deserves. People deserve better than that.”

Richard Stallman

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: May 27th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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